Key points: Try using short fiction to explore something you want to practice. Point of view, characterization, balancing dialogue and exposition -- quick, no big investment if it fails. Use short fiction to "discover who you are as a writer without getting lost wandering in the woods." Think of short fiction as your sketchbook, a place to experiment and push the limits. Don't worry about writing salable short fiction. Use short fiction to practice technique in isolation. Like doing sprints for a football player. Use monologues to meet your characters, short stories to describe a setting or try out a style. Pick an aspect of craft and focus on that single aspect. Start by reading short stories, anthologies, collections, and see what the possibilities are. Short fiction tends to be tightly focused, with a small cast and fewer plot threads. Use short fiction to get extra ideas out of your system, as a quick refresher. Find the turning point in your novel, and write a short story about it.
( Wind sprints and footballs...Collapse )
[Brandon] That's… That's going to be our homework for this episode. I want you to do that. Take a story you've written and find a short story in it. Or the story you're planning and find a short story in it. Because we are, actually, out of time. I really want to thank Tananarive for being on… I said it right, though.
[Howard] It's Tananarive.
[Brandon] It's Tahnahnah, not Tanana. You told me don't say Tanana.
[Tananarive] I said it would be okay.
[Brandon] Okay. You were very gracious. But we want to thank Tananarive very much for being on the podcast. Thank you so much.
[Tananarive] My pleasure. Thank you all.
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses. Now go write.